Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is 100 times more contagious than HIV, according to a consultant gastroenterologist and hepatologist at the Godfrey Okoye University Teaching Hospital (GOUNTH), Enugu, Dr. Adiri Winfred.
At an event hosted by GOUNTH and sponsored by Emzor Vaccines in honor of “2023 World Hepatitis Day” with the theme “One Life, One Liver” on Tuesday in Enugu, Winfred offered the warning while educating some locals about the risks of hepatitis, particularly those of B and C.
The participants were given a chance to take a free hepatitis test, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
She stated that hepatitis B was harmful because there was no cure for it and that the only way to treat it was to lessen the infection.
The specialist stressed that one aspect of the virus is that “when integrated into a patient’s DNA, it becomes difficult for eradication,” adding that the medications now in use cannot remove the virus.
The medicine we have can lessen the viral load of patients with liver cancer and cirrhosis, which appeared to be an increasing problem in our environment.
“Many people have passed away due to complications brought on by the Hepatitis B virus, which is why we are urging governments to provide aid to those who have the virus.”
She explained that the free screening would encourage people who have Hepatitis B symptoms to seek treatment.
Winfred continued by saying that the Hepatitis B virus can spread by contact with infected blood, sex, and other bodily fluids, from infected mothers to their newborns at the moment of delivery, and from family members to young children.
Others include drug injections, playing with sharp items and clippers, transfusions of infected blood, and the use of tainted injections during medical operations.
“The signs and symptoms of acute and chronic hepatitis B include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, light-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice,” she added.
She did, however, advise Nigerians to get vaccinated against hepatitis B to avoid contracting the disease.
The activity was a partnership, public enlightenment, and screening program, according to the Chief Medical Director of GOUNTH, Prof. Cajethan Nwadinigwe, who gave a welcome address earlier.
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